Evanston’s unemployment rate rose in April to 6.5 percent, up from 3.9 percent a year ago.

The rate had declined slightly to 6.0 percent in March from 6.1 percent in February.

But the figures released today by the Illinois Department of Employment Security show that Evanston’s employment picture was still among the best in the state. Of nearly 100 communities with over 25,000 residents included in the data, only 12 had jobless rates lower than Evanston’s last month.

Most of the towns with the lowest unemployment rates — including Bloomington, Carbondale, Champaign, Normal, and Urbana — like Evanston are communities with major universities that are less prone than other employers to shed workers during an economic downturn.

In the metro area, Highland Park at 4.9 percent, Wilmette at 5.8 percent and Northbrook at 6.0 percent were the only communities with unemployment levels lower than Evanston last month.

Glenview’s jobless rate was 6.6 percent. It was 7.1 percent in Oak park, 7.3 percent in Arlington Heights, 7.7 percent in Skokie, 10.0 percent in Des Plaines, 10.6 percent in the City of Chicago and 11.2 percent in Waukegan.

Evanston’s jobless rate for all of 2008 averaged 4.7 percent.

The state jobless figures are not seasonally adjusted.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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1 Comment

  1. Correlation: increase in homeless kids and local unemployment?
    We’ve seen the number of homeless children in District 65 and District 202 skyrocket. And unemployment in Evanston is up 2.6 percent in just one year.

    Is anyone else noticing this? Is it any wonder that the City of Evanston is seeing a decrease in summer camp enrollments with so many parents out of work?

    City residents need fewer taxes, not more. The City of Evanston is forcing middle income individuals and families out of this city by taxing, taxing, taxing everything in sight. Now they want to license scrap guys?

    What is wrong with this picture? It’s called the mentality of tax and spend then repeat every single day without regard for those who actually must pay.

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